In episode 97 of the Leadership Minute, Acceleration Economy practitioner analyst Tony Uphoff discusses a new Edelman research report about the changing dynamic between business technology buyers and sellers that is upending the traditional B2B purchasing funnel. He shares five reasons for the shift and offers advice on how technology vendors can best respond to the new purchasing landscape.
This episode is sponsored by “Selling to the New Executive Buying Committee,” an Acceleration Economy Course designed to help vendors, partners, and buyers understand the shifting sands of how mid-market and enterprise CXOs are making purchase decisions to modernize technology.
00:43 — Global communications firm Edelman recently released a research report titled “Trust and Brands: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel.”
01:19 — The combination of digital transformation and the pace of change over the last decade have rendered the purchase funnel obsolete. Today, the purchase of business technology does not follow a linear path. Increasingly, the initial purchase is just the start of the relationship between the buyer and the vendor.
01:42 — Several major market dynamics are driving this shift:
- Demand for “as-a-service technologies” has changed how business technology buyers purchase technology.
- Digital transformation has made buyers educated and informed. Often customers are 70% of the way through their decision-making process before they contact a sales rep.
- Business technology buyers are most interested in business outcomes. Customers can trial technology and services before committing to a purchase, making buying decisions more flexible, iterative, and nonlinear.
- The shift towards subscription models means a purchase is just the beginning of the customer relationship. Business technology vendors must now invest heavily in post-purchase customer experience to retain and grow the customer base.
- Trust is now a major part of purchasing decisions, according to Edelman and Acceleration Economy research and analysis. Business technology buying committees view purchasing as an ongoing relationship, and that requires working with vendors they can trust.
04:32 — Digital transformation and “as-a-service” technologies have revolutionized the business technology buying process, leading to the collapse of the traditional purchase funnel and the rise of trust as a core purchase criterion. Technology vendors should focus on delivering customer value and trust, which will lead to long-term relationships and growth.